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FLINGS: Stories ~Justin Taylor

Wednesday, September 10th, 2014

“And it’s true that the only thing the kids remember about most of this stuff is buying it: the jolt of commercial desire followed by the soft shock of success as the parental wallet opened – and then the getting bored.”  (page 94 ‘Mike’s Song’ of an uncorrected proof copy of the book)

We’ve got a dozen stories by a good writer in FLINGS and I very much enjoy short stories these days and I would call it a good read and an interesting experience.   FLINGS was just right for the business of my life in the autumn harvest and before the winter big read season.

The reader experiences an excerpt of the whole life story of a great many characters in FLINGS.  Although one character from a story as a secondary pivot character, finds his own chapter later on, this is not a group of connected stories like OLIVE KITTERIDGE  or WHAT THE ZHANG BOYS KNOW. What the characters have as a common thread is that they have left some place or state of being and are now trying to identify their next move and forward motion.  The characters all seemed like New Yorkers though much of the action took place in other locations such as Hong Kong, Portland,Oregon, Ohio, Canada and Tennessee.   I don’t know if I can say this but as the characters wander about in search of their new states of being, the writing has a driven aspect that keeps the reader moving page after page.

Lots of themes about academia, music and writing with an overall literary quality; fascinating to read about what young men think about women and college girls these days.  The movies too reveal a lot of just random sex, and never much about the meaning of life or the depth of communication or relationship possibilities.  Maybe they will just wander into the right place or the right person for them while trying on 6 or 7 at a time.   Life as performance art and auditions.   I lost interest in several stories because of this lack and actually several books recently because of this current writing trend.

Several of the characters are well developed because of the fine writing; there was a searching quality to many of the stories which left me sometimes searching myself, wanting more so I would create what I thought would happen next.  Limbo?  Younger writers like this wanting feeling, I do not want it in all twelve stories.  I had to dig to find humor even though several reviewers found it very fun.  We all search for connection and our spot in life just maybe we do not find it until as the Baptist’s in my town say: “He’s been called home.”

Justin Taylor is the author of the story collection Everything Here is the Best Thing Ever and the novel The Gospel of Anarchy.  He lives, writes and teaches in New York City.

Harper Collins site for Taylor
Taylor’s Website
TLC book tours

It was a pleasure to read FLINGS and I am thankful for the opportunity.

“Every choice makes us and remakes us.  What’s incredible, Danielle thought, is not that we might have been somebody else, or nobody, but rather that despite everything we are somehow still ourselves.” (Page 207 of uncorrected copy.)

Olive Kitteridge
What the Zhang Boys Know
Half as Happy 
No Longer and Not Yet 

Telling of my Cancer

Monday, October 24th, 2011


On Deliberately Receiving I recently read this post by Melody.   I thought it was one of the best statements about how we do or do not draw illness to ourselves – it was so invigorating to me and affirming of my health journey, I wrote an entire blog post in the comments section.

I would invite you to read Melody’s post, she shares very clearly.

Then I copied my comment and placed it here for you to read – it is a re- telling of my story and I learned a great deal from writing it and reading the post and Melody’s reply.

I was born with a large exterior cancerous tumor connected to my chest. I had to be delivered C-Section because of the tumor, but the only local hospital would not do C-Sections because they were Catholic and that would interfere with the birth process. My mother’s OBGYN took her to his offices and performed the C-Section and then another Pediatrician removed my tumor. Risking their careers. My Mother was moved to the hospital for 7 days of surgery recovery and I was taken home with the OBGYN for 7 days of care by his wife.

My body keeps manifesting these cysts which are full of toxins from the environment – including laundry soap residuals – which when they become too painful to endure any longer – Drs find them to be pre-cancerous and I have another surgery. My ovaries were covered with cancerous cysts when I had my Hysterectomy, the cysts were full of environmental toxins) ….which gave me 15 years of the most horrendous menopause symptoms one cannot even imagine. It was Kind of a gift…as I had to pull out of the work force to care for myself, my special needs child and finally my dying mother. I was determined to heal myself and live.

What I found was if I stayed home in my organic, healthy, air filtered environment – I did not have headaches and I did not grow more of these cysts. I do not eat cheese because of what my body tells me is in it and how much resistance it has to this stuff. I do not eat other people’s cooking (usually) I have learned how to hear the most minor transmissions from my body you can imagine.

But now I want to go outside and be with people more…not just read my life away…so I started by blogging to get some conversation going. On Biking Architect, I often write about how people make it hard for the environment and me to stay healthy. I put tea tree oil and bees wax in my nose and breathe through my nose so that I can go walking every day. I am working on going to choir practice once a week and singing about Peace.. I go to 2 book groups a month to be with people (and I eat their food – carefully) I only purchase food from my CSA and organic groceries. I am changing my vibrations so that I can go to San Francisco for Thanksgiving and not come home with massively swollen legs and joints and not have to stay in my daughter’s apt. all the time – while my family goes running and hiking and exploring. I am working on manifesting enough money to pay for this adventure; I would so like to be able to purchase some new clothing.

I think my weight is due to my body protecting me from the toxins in the environment.
And I still feel best about myself and happy and healthy when I stay home in my energy efficient healthy environment.

I am working on manifesting more friends to my blogs – Patricias Wisdom and Facebook and twitter….and I am working hard at figuring out technical stuff so that Wise Ears will use my talents towards making money…
I feel most powerful in my own healthy space and most relaxed and positive…but wow! can it be a private joy that I would like to share more.

Now I think this is a fabulous post – and Melody truly one of your best – and I hope it will stop people acting like my cancer and illnesses – and fat – are catching and a sign of my stupidity and dumbness – I am powerful beyond their imaginations and made even more powerful by learning and learning all this good stuff found here… …all the name-calling by the “others” just wears me down. Being denied health insurance hurts my feelings and wears me down baby steps, baby steps…. good words found here/Thank you.

Thank you Melody

Melody’s reply was just right.

So here is my post for today – it is revealing, but it is just exactly what I wanted to say.

I think my reading and commenting on posts is one of my most important aspects of my daily living.

Do you ever write whole posts in the comments section?  Have you ever just copied and pasted your comment to make a post on your blog?

I need more comments on my blog posts and would invite you to share your ideas with me.

If you like what you read here you may wish to subscribe by RSS or email.

I invite you to read this post too:  I do not know anything different

The Top TEN

Thursday, June 23rd, 2011


One of the important aspects of blogging besides writing and posting this site and Biking Architect is that I spend about 10 hours of my week reading other blogs!   Yep that is part of my joy of reading.

Sometimes I think it is because I want to be an expert about the Law of Attraction – not really I am being funny! – because I feel by reading and reading and commenting it keeps the conversation open and it keeps me understanding how others are changing and what they are learning.  This habit creates more curiosity and wonder and ideas roaming around in my mind; I feel like the river is flowing.

Now I want to share my Top TEN for this week with you so you can enjoy what these folks have to say:

Hilary at Positive Letters is writing about early text messages and shorthand phrases – fascinating

Sam Juliano at Wonders in the Dark is sharing all the movies and plays he has seen over the course of the week – it is an amazing discussion and Monday Morning Diary.

Todd at Channeling Myself is sharing how our true knowing comes from our heart not our head.

I read about Melody of Deliberate Receiving on JD’s blog Sources of Insight and feel like I found a new friend especially with her fabulous words about winning the Lottery

Galen Pearl at 10 Steps to Finding your Happy Place is debriefing happiness and making it into manageable steps. Judgments are her series topic at present.

Deborah Barker is story telling about sorting pictures and cameras at Living Between the Lines.  She is a masterful writer.

Laurie Buchanan at Holessence is talking about multiplication Dandelion Style or maybe about how we all survive through our various stages and transitions to make wishes come true?

Terrill Welch a Mayne Island, British Columbia – Creativepotager – artist is getting ready for the current showing of her work, which is about a Study in Blue.I have been glued to her posts as she has step by step taken her readers from the back painting to the finished work.  I felt like I receive a mini-vacation with each visit.

Eliza at Silver and Grace just keeps the maturing woman right at pace with her insights and energy.  I enjoy receiving the newsletter in my inbox regularly and all the connections on Facebook – Have you Liked the Silver and Grace  page yet?

Last but never least is SIGHTLINE DAILY This is the daily sharing of all the news articles about the environment and what folks are doing for the earth – specifically as they relate to my neck of the woods.  I just love it when I read about someone else or some company making changes that have an impact on creating and preserving our natural environments.  And now the newsletter comes everyday!

Not another book review, but I hope you will enjoy some good writing and reading by travelling through these links.

Do you have a link you would like to give a shout out too?  A favorite place for you to wander around?
Please share.

If you purchase anything from amazon from this site I will receive a few beans in my bucket!

Related Reading you might enjoy:
Naked In Eden
Unfinished Business
One Lovely Blog Award – The New Folks
What Should I Do With The Rest of My Life